ICC World Cup, 35th Match, Super Eights: Australia v England at North Sound, Apr 8, 2007
ICC World Cup - 35th match, Super Eights
Australia won by 7 wickets (with 16 balls remaining)
8 April 2007 (50-over match)

Bell to face

Here we go. The Australians are out on the pitch...and here come Vaughan and Bell, England's two hundredless one-day players. Fair decent crowd out there too, under cloudyish but bright skies.

"Dear Cricinfo. Do you know how good it feels to know we are going to win our fourth World Cup?" writes Michael, a retiring, cautiously optimistic Aussie. "While all the other nations wish, they could win it, we know we ARE going to win it. No previews, reviews, post mortems needed. We aren't the world champs for nothing.England bye bye and again good riddens." It's riddance, Michael, but thanks for the sentiments nevertheless.

09.20 Ten measly minutes to go. Get out your chips, beer, tea and whatever else you need. Plug in your laptops. Kick out the dog. We're nearly ready here.

"A few lurksome clouds overhead but enough blue skies around and about to suggest that we should get an uninterrupted day," predicts Andrew. And good news: our email is now fixed. Go on, feed us.

"Certainly the Party Stand is filling out nicely," Andrew of Millster observes. "Not yet seen or heard any of the fabled musical-instruments-that-were-never-banned-in-the-first-place-but-are-now-welcomed-with-open-arms". Naturally they will each come accompanied with an ICC sticker and a health-and-safety warning attached. Only joking. Well done LOC and all involved.

"I think this is what we'd call a decent crowd," explains Cricinfo Limited's UK Editor Andrew Miller. "Mind you, it's been so long since I saw one of those I've rather forgotten what they are." Oh how droll. Oh how true. "But I have it on good, nay the ultimate, authority, that 15,000 tickets have been sold for today's match. So we shall wait and see." Indeed we shall. After all, the headmasterly ban of trumpets and drums - and general noise-making things - has been lifted, as revealed by ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 West Indies Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Chris Dehring, yesterday. A little late? Well, perhaps, but let's hope the locals respond with noise.

England will be looking to bat first and then "put Australia under pressure". Again, my Mum could've told you that. Naturally, Ricky Ponting used the situation as a positive. Would he have batted? "Aww look, we bat pretty deep so it doesn't really matter what we do". By the way, Ian Bell and Michael Vaughan will open, with Andrew Strauss at No.3

Disaster has struck Cricinfo HQ with the muffling news that our email is broken. Worry not. We have a fresh supply of peanuts to feed the hamster, and the wheel will be turning again soon.

09.00 England win the toss and bat first. Well done them. No news of Australia's team yet. The big winners are keeping it close to their chests. Ah, here they are. Well it's what we expected really. Just Brad Hodge coming in for the when-will-he-ever-not-be-injured Shane Watson.

08.55 Ed Joyce is out; Andrew Strauss is in. And about time, too. More team news soon.

Check out Andrew Miller's preview of the match, while we wait for more news, but in the meanwhile are watching reruns of yesterday's Bokwash. Jenny reminds me that Shane Watson is injured. Well of course he is. My Mum could've told you that.

08.50 No news yet. But we're expecting it very shortly. It's all massive and we trust you're as excited as we are. I've even begun my (damn fine) Bill Lawry impersonations. Usually this is reserved for the rather painful middle overs, but I thought I'd roll him out for the opening. Enough frivolity. Go forth and email.

08.40 A balmy good morning/afternoon to you all, wherever you might be. Lo, it is me, Will Luke, ready and able (ish) to take you through the first few overs of today's match. And it ought to be a belter, not to mention vital - can England do a Bangladesh on Australia? What a match yesterday's was. Either way, Jenny Thompson is waiting in the wings with feverish excitement - in fact, we're all up for today's game, like kids at Christmas. Talking of such festiveness, happy Easter to you all, if that's your bag. I received absolutely nothing for my Easter - not an egg in sight - so if anyone wishes to send some to Cricinfo Towers, none of us will object (apart from Thompson who's on a wedding diet. A Wediet, if you like). Andrew Gnasher McGlashan - for that is his full title - will be concocting regular bulletin updates for you, and generally we'll be keeping you up to date with proceedings...and hopefully keeping you amused at the same time. Anyway, drop us a line to say hello.

0.1

Bracken to Bell, 2 runs, Bell takes a step down the pitch, arrogantly so, and strokes him through the covers. There's some gumption

0.2

Bracken to Bell, no run, a better line from Bracken this time on middle stump and fuller, drawing Bell forward. He does come forward, and defends

0.3

Bracken to Bell, no run, and again it's defended on the front foot by Bell

0.4

Bracken to Bell, no run, good, nagging line from Bracken here, just short of a length and wide enough for Bell to leave - but there's a touch of shape back into the right hander here

Bracken's bowling over the wicket here, incidentally

0.5

Bracken to Bell, no run, cut off the back foot, with pleasing timing, straight down into the ground and straight to Clarke at point

0.6

Bracken to Bell, no run, excellent line and length with which to finish the over, Bell defending it with nervous-like energy, prodding it down and skipping down the pitch - threatening to run. But he doesn't

Good, tight over from Bracken there. Good lengths in particular.

End of over 1 (2 runs) England 2/0 (RR: 2.00)

    • IR Bell 2 (6b)
    • MP Vaughan 0 (0b)
    • NW Bracken 1-0-2-0

And here comes Shaun Tait

1.1

Tait to Vaughan, no run, ooh quick! Zippy, nasty delivery first up for Vaughan, this one rising on him. He shouldered arms, but the ball followed him - as though magnetised to his neck - and it flew through to Gilchrist

1.2

Tait to Vaughan, 1 run, but Vaughan's off the mark here, as Tait sends down one a touch fuller which Vaughan, although on the back foot, angles it down past gully and screams Bell through for a single

And he receives cheery applause from a large England contingent in the crowd

1.3

Tait to Bell, no run, well bowled again, 91 mph (146kph), rising on Bell who, like Vaughan, leaves alone. The ball died on Gilchrist there

1.4

Tait to Bell, 1 run, clunked into the covers on the front foot

1.5

Tait to Vaughan, no run, really testing line from Tait here, just outside off stump and Vaughan watches it sail by - though is watchful of where his off stump is

1.6

Tait to Vaughan, no run, yorker-length but off target, just wide enough of Vaughan's off stump and he clamps down on it

And another good over for Australia. Good start this. Botham is off on one again. He now wants KP at 3. Vaughan at 7. Flintoff opening. Bopara, somewhere. Oh I don't know. Something like that

End of over 2 (2 runs) England 4/0 (RR: 2.00)

    • MP Vaughan 1 (4b)
    • IR Bell 3 (8b)
    • SW Tait 1-0-2-0
    • NW Bracken 1-0-2-0
2.1

Bracken to Bell, no run, too wide and it's easily left alone

Just a lone slip

2.2

Bracken to Bell, no run, Bell advances again, almost making it into a half volley, but Bell doesn't make anything of it, just punching it feebly into the covers

2.3

Bracken to Bell, 1 run, nicely, elegantly cut off the back foot. I like to call that a Test cut. England need some one-day savagery in the first 15 overs

2.4

Bracken to Vaughan, FOUR, ooh edged! Close! Vaughan takes a Bell-like step down the pitch, and gets a thick outside edge. Some might say he angled it on purpose. I, on the other hand, think he didn't

2.5

Bracken to Vaughan, no run, but it's a bit too wide and left alone this time

Come on England. Ramp it up a bit. "Express yourselves," as Vaughan reportedly tells his troops so often

2.6

Bracken to Vaughan, no run, excellent end to the over, cutting this back into Vaughan who is watchful in defence

End of over 3 (5 runs) England 9/0 (RR: 3.00)

    • MP Vaughan 5 (7b 1x4)
    • IR Bell 4 (11b)
    • NW Bracken 2-0-7-0
    • SW Tait 1-0-2-0
3.1

Tait to Bell, 1 leg bye, a Tait slingshot down the leg side - almost Malinga-like there - and it wibbles off Bell's pad down to fine leg

Tait is quick today

3.2

Tait to Vaughan, OUT, gone! Again short from Tait, Vaughan went back and simply played it onto his stumps.

MP Vaughan b Tait 5 (12m 8b 1x4 0x6) SR: 62.50

Vaughan is spitting nails. It really is a mystery and he, more than anyone, appears clueless as to his lack of success in one-dayers. Right then. One down. Nine to go. Here comes Strauss

First game for Strauss in the World Cup. He only made 193 runs in 10 innings in the one-day series in Australia. But he's been looking good in the nets, so we hear

3.3

Tait to Strauss, 1 wide, another bouncer - and, rejoice, it's wided by the umpire.

Strauss is receiving a fair bit of chatter from those erudite Australian fielders. And he gives some back too, as well he might

3.3

Tait to Strauss, no run, on leg stump, short of a length, and Strauss punches it off his hip

3.4

Tait to Strauss, 3 runs, oh yes, lovely shot from Strauss just driving it crisply through extra cover. It beats Hodge who sets off in pursuit and hauls it down

3.5

Tait to Bell, no run, big, big shout from Tait who does a war dance in front of the umpire. Billy Bowden is utterly unimpressed, by both the appeal and the dance - that was miles, miles down the leg side and Bowden shakes his head

3.6

Tait to Bell, no run, on off stump, Bell is forward in defence

Marvellous start from Australia this. And that's my first Henry Blofeldism of the day.

End of over 4 (5 runs) England 14/1 (RR: 3.50)

    • IR Bell 4 (14b)
    • AJ Strauss 3 (2b)
    • SW Tait 2-0-6-1
    • NW Bracken 2-0-7-0

Bracken still over the wicket to the new batsman (Strauss being a left-hander. You knew that)

4.1

Bracken to Strauss, no run, firmly forward, Strauss blocks this out to cover

4.2

Bracken to Strauss, no run, good movement from Strauss, confidently forward again and driving this with a crisp flourish - but he can't time it and it bobbles out into the off side

4.3

Bracken to Strauss, no run, Strauss isn't tempted by a wide one - I would've been - and leaves it well alone

4.4

Bracken to Strauss, 2 runs, neatly struck, looking to drive it straight but he opens the face of his bat at the last moment, cracking it behind square

Ponting in at a short cover

4.5

Bracken to Strauss, no run, full, straight, defended. Nothing more, nothing less

4.6

Bracken to Strauss, 2 runs, edged, but it falls short of where second slip wasn't. And down to third man it flies - but Tait does fantastically well down there, diving to his right to prevent four

End of over 5 (4 runs) England 18/1 (RR: 3.60)

    • AJ Strauss 7 (8b)
    • IR Bell 4 (14b)
    • NW Bracken 3-0-11-0
    • SW Tait 2-0-6-1
5.1

Tait to Bell, FOUR, crashed back past the bowler for four. Fabulous shot really, just leaning on it and timing it quite beautifully

Ponting comes out of second slip again, to a short cover

5.2

Tait to Bell, no run, Bell is back and across, defending this with a high left elbow

Damien Fleming is waxing lyrical about Shaun Tait. All sorts of Bill Lawryisms coming out here...

5.3

Tait to Bell, no run, too short and wide - left alone by Bell but, well, it's another dot ball

5.4

Tait to Bell, 1 run, my word, I thought he'd bowled him there. The noise of a thick-inside edge can often sound similar to the "death rattle." Yorker length and Bell just clamped down on it in time

5.5

Tait to Strauss, no run, on leg stump, again quick - the perfect delivery to the right-hander, actually - but it rams into Strauss's pads and he can't make anything of it

5.6

Tait to Strauss, 1 wide, the first genuinely filthy wide from Tait and Gilchrist, well - he does brilliantly to save four (or rather, five), diving to his right

5.6

Tait to Strauss, OUT, gone! A mirror of Vaughan's dismissal; short of a length, Strauss back onto his stumps, he tried to cut it but with a rather ugly cross-bat and it's dragged on

AJ Strauss b Tait 7 (11m 10b 0x4 0x6) SR: 70.00

Well, Tait's doing the business here. Two identical dismissals, both short of a length - and he's getting good pace off what is a slowish pitch

End of over 6 (6 runs) England 24/2 (RR: 4.00)

    • IR Bell 9 (18b 1x4)
    • SW Tait 3-0-12-2
    • NW Bracken 3-0-11-0
6.1

Bracken to Bell, no run, again Bell advances down the pitch with impressive intent, but can't actually make anything of the ball. It bobbles out onto the leg side with meek intent

If batsman are going to charge bowlers - by cash, cheque or credit - then they might as well "go big", and attack

6.2

Bracken to Bell, no run, defended out into the covers. No charge from Bell

6.3

Bracken to Bell, no run, full, just on off stump, Bell charges and strokes him to mid-off. But straight to mid-off and again there's no run

Andrew Miller offers this crumb: "At least Strauss's strike-rate of 70.00 was right up there with England's expectations."

Gilchrist standing up to the stumps

6.4

Bracken to Bell, no run, angled down just past Hayden at first slip - who does brilliantly, leaping to his right like the salmon he is not

6.5

Bracken to Bell, no run, it's full, it's straight, it's defended on the back foot

6.6

Bracken to Bell, no run, terrific bowling this from Bracken, it really is. And with Gilchrist up to the stumps, Bell is trapped - he just can't get it away. Pushed back to the bowler

End of over 7 (maiden) England 24/2 (RR: 3.42)

    • IR Bell 9 (24b 1x4)
    • KP Pietersen 0 (0b)
    • NW Bracken 4-1-11-0
    • SW Tait 3-0-12-2

Here's the officially recognised top batsman in the world, Kevin Pietersen

7.1

Tait to Pietersen, no run, on off stump, firmly cracked back to Tait who fields in his follow-through, the momentum - and his own fleet-footedness - carries him within a metre or so of Pietersen, staring him down. Pietersen stares him back

7.2

Tait to Pietersen, no run, on leg stump this time and Pietersen turns it to square leg

What England would give for an opening batsman who could dominate the opposition. Well, there is one, but sadly he has spent the winter back home due to illness. Marcus Trescothick flew home two weeks into the Ashes tour, but has been involved in Somerset's pre-season. During a friendly against Devon today he has smashed 256 in a 30-over game, including 25 fours and 18 sixes.

7.3

Tait to Pietersen, (no ball) FOUR, what a fabulous shot. That is quite brilliant, just punching it straight back past Tait. An on-drive of fierce power

And there's Prince Harry in the crowd, with his girlfriend. Not a clue who she is, but. Yes. Well there she is, on display as it were.

7.3

Tait to Pietersen, no run, and Pietersen goes for an expansive crash through the covers but misses out, clunking it straight to cover

7.4

Tait to Pietersen, no run, and again he crashes, but gets a thick inside edge into his boot

7.5

Tait to Pietersen, no run, Tait rather loses his line here, Pietersen just clipping him off his hip

7.6

Tait to Pietersen, no run, defended on the back foot

End of over 8 (5 runs) England 29/2 (RR: 3.62)

    • KP Pietersen 4 (7b 1x4)
    • IR Bell 9 (24b 1x4)
    • SW Tait 4-0-17-2
    • NW Bracken 4-1-11-0

Ah, trust Jenno to know who Prince Harry's girl is. "It's Chelsy Davy," she cries. Terrific surname, albeit not very royal.

8.1

Bracken to Bell, no run, "ooh nice Bracko" cries Gilchrist as Bell defends this off the back foot

8.2

Bracken to Bell, no run, just short of a length but Bell can't break cover

I wonder if Prince Harry's got lost, Jenny ponders, on his way to Iraq. Nice place to get lost

8.3

Bracken to Bell, no run, cracked on the front foot to cover. But straight to cover

Australia are all over England here

8.4

Bracken to Bell, 1 wide, down the leg side, Gilchrist takes it brilliantly but can't save Rudi calling it a wide

Deftly taken indeed from Gilchrist

8.4

Bracken to Bell, no run, Bell has absolutely hammered this, square, but straight to Ponting at what can only be described as a very short point. Superbly fielded

8.5

Bracken to Bell, 1 run, guided off the back foot past the short Ponting at short point

8.6

Bracken to Pietersen, no run, a bit of a heave there from Bracken. Bless him, he's getting tired. Pietersen nudges it off his hip

I bought two packs of bananas before coming into work today. And they really are spectacularly bananary

End of over 9 (2 runs) England 31/2 (RR: 3.44)

    • KP Pietersen 4 (8b 1x4)
    • IR Bell 10 (29b 1x4)
    • NW Bracken 5-1-13-0
    • SW Tait 4-0-17-2

Ah, look who it is. It's Glenn McGrath. They've taken the blanket off and wheeled him out

9.1

McGrath to Bell, 2 runs, Bell runs down the pitch at a 100 mph and cracks him over midwicket - a short, slow delivery which Bell spoons over midwicket

Now then, now then, now then. Pietersen. What will he do? Oh we'll have to wait, because they got two

Gilchrist up to the stumps. Hayden moves wider at first slip. Almost a second

9.2

McGrath to Bell, no run, Bell defends on the back foot

9.3

McGrath to Bell, FOUR, shot. Not quite as well timed as he'd like, but he lofts it neatly over mid-off

9.4

McGrath to Bell, 2 runs, neatly back-cut past point - in fact, in front of point, in front of square

9.5

McGrath to Bell, no run, McGrath-line-and-length, on off stump and it's defended with fierce caution

Where's Mick Jagger? Not seen him so far this tournament - and he loves his cricket

9.6

McGrath to Bell, no run, nudged off his hip to end the over

And striding with boundless enthusiasm into the Cricinfo commentator's chair is Jenny Thompson. Not as enthusiastically as the umpire's signalling the second Powerplay, but nearly - cheers Willo. Happy Easter, or a plain old happy Sunday... and it's nearly time (and is time in some cases) to say happy Monday to all you body-clock defying Aussies in Ausland. Hello. I didn't find any Easter eggs hidden in my garden, sadly, but then again I don't have a garden. Speaking of stingy, Bracken and Tait had been fairly Easter-bunny-like out there at the ZhVivian Stadium (as everyone insists upon calling it), but they're clearly going after the young rookie McGrath.

Oh and hello, it's Michael Clarke to have a bowl

End of over 10 (8 runs) England 39/2 (RR: 3.90)

    • IR Bell 18 (35b 2x4)
    • KP Pietersen 4 (8b 1x4)
    • GD McGrath 1-0-8-0
    • NW Bracken 5-1-13-0
10.1

Clarke to Pietersen, no run, tidy start for Clarke, round the wicket to the righthander, and Pietersen has to defend that one

10.2

Clarke to Pietersen, no run, groaned up there again, on the spot, and again Pietersen can only defend

Any more of this and this is going to frustrate KP, who will be having a dart before too long you'd expect

10.3

Clarke to Pietersen, 1 run, a touch shorter this time and that's patient from the big man, who strides into the ball and times a soft-handed drive to mid-off

10.4

Clarke to Bell, no run, touch of bounce here and that's just defended down on the back foot, without too much fuss

10.5

Clarke to Bell, 1 run, drags it short and there's a premeditated sweep, on one knee, round to fine leg

10.6

Clarke to Pietersen, 2 runs, another sweep, this one in front of square, and there's a fine piece of sweeping from the sweeper/boundary rider* (*delete according to preference)

End of over 11 (4 runs) England 43/2 (RR: 3.90)

    • KP Pietersen 7 (12b 1x4)
    • IR Bell 19 (37b 2x4)
    • MJ Clarke 1-0-4-0
    • GD McGrath 1-0-8-0
11.1

McGrath to Bell, no run, on the spot outside off and that's defended forward

11.2

McGrath to Bell, no run, drags it a touch short and Bell opens up his arms, ready to drive through covers, doesn't get hold of it quite right and an edge crashes forward into the ground

Malcolm Speed's in the crowd, doing his bit for product placement, clutching a big Coke... I mean, Pepsi. Oops.

11.3

McGrath to Bell, no run, this one's a quiet defence

11.4

McGrath to Bell, 1 run, a touch of room outside off again and Bell waits to play a just-a-shade-late cut through gully and the pair set off immediately

11.5

McGrath to Pietersen, FOUR, Pietersen comes down the track and McGrath can't adjust in time, Pietersen whipping that strongly off his legs in front of midwicket

That's the first ball KP's faced since Glenn broke his rib - and he handled it well

11.6

McGrath to Pietersen, no run, bouncer, of course, and Pietersen stands tall as he can - which is pretty tall - to pull that off one leg to midwicket. Oh, he didn't get hold of it, but he did wrap his tongue around a few words and McGrath's giving it back.

Kevin and Glenn and their little tiffs, bless them

End of over 12 (5 runs) England 48/2 (RR: 4.00)

    • KP Pietersen 11 (14b 2x4)
    • IR Bell 20 (41b 2x4)
    • GD McGrath 2-0-13-0
    • MJ Clarke 1-0-4-0
12.1

Clarke to Bell, 1 run, driven softly off the back foot back to mid-off

12.2

Clarke to Pietersen, no run, outside off and Pietersen lets that one carry through to Gilchrist

12.3

Clarke to Pietersen, no run, on a good length, Pietersen can't get any power on that and "Oh yes!" that's pleased Gilchrist

12.4

Clarke to Pietersen, no run, another one skids through to the keeper just outside the off stump

12.5

Clarke to Pietersen, no run, turns right back in from outside off and Pietersen's stride probably saves him

12.6

Clarke to Pietersen, no run, defended this time

End of over 13 (1 run) England 49/2 (RR: 3.76)

    • KP Pietersen 11 (19b 2x4)
    • IR Bell 21 (42b 2x4)
    • MJ Clarke 2-0-5-0
    • GD McGrath 2-0-13-0
13.1

McGrath to Bell, no run, McGrath nearly gets Bell there, Bell opening the face and just failing to get a tickle on the way through to Gilchrist. Bell has to lean on his bat, like a crutch for an old man, to compose himself

13.2

McGrath to Bell, FOUR, hits through the line and that's a really decent shot from Bell, lifting that over cover

13.3

McGrath to Bell, FOUR, two fours on the bounce - outside off again and that's a really great square drive, perfect timing, the sort of shot that when you nail it you know has gone the second you connect

13.4

McGrath to Bell, no run, on a better line and length, Bell takes the power of it, working to covers, but he's still looking hungry every ball

13.5

McGrath to Bell, FOUR, ah, hello, another sweet drive from Bell, this time he decides to lean into the ball and drive it wide of mid-off - a rocket

McGrath bends down to relace his shoe, shakes his head from side to side, and prepares to bowl again

13.6

McGrath to Bell, no run, more width outside off and Bell growls as he fails to give it the treatment through point, instead lashing it into the ground

McGrath positively thunders back to his mark, shouting to himself, as well he might

End of over 14 (12 runs) England 61/2 (RR: 4.35)

    • IR Bell 33 (48b 5x4)
    • KP Pietersen 11 (19b 2x4)
    • GD McGrath 3-0-25-0
    • MJ Clarke 2-0-5-0
14.1

Clarke to Pietersen, no run, Pietersen is indeed getting impatient - going to sweep that, and missing

Terrific opening overs here and hope you're enjoying our coverage, where ever you might be. Let us have your thoughts here

14.2

Clarke to Pietersen, 1 run, he connects on the sweep this time, that one in front of square

14.3

Clarke to Bell, 1 run, and another sweep

14.4

Clarke to Pietersen, FOUR, this time Pietersen takes his usual two strides down and plays that one one-legged, on the front foot, and that's driven literally on the front foot through long-on

14.5

Clarke to Pietersen, SIX, that's big! Short ball which Pietersen scoops that off the bottom of the bat and sends it high and travelling

14.6

Clarke to Pietersen, 1 run, short again, this one outside off and Pietersen cheekily takes it from outside the sticks and sweeps it right over in front of square

"50 partnership from 55 balls," announces Gnasher. "The last two overs have brought 25." Many many hands on many many hips out there, all Australian, as they look for a way to apply some pressure - and there's a change of bowling, it's (George) Brad Hogg.

End of over 15 (13 runs) England 74/2 (RR: 4.93)

    • KP Pietersen 23 (24b 3x4 1x6)
    • IR Bell 34 (49b 5x4)
    • MJ Clarke 3-0-18-0
    • GD McGrath 3-0-25-0
15.1

Hogg to Pietersen, no run, over the wicket, spears that one in outside leg, it turns back in and Pietersen swishes it back out off the back foot

15.2

Hogg to Pietersen, no run, outside the line again, Pietersen on one knee and that's an easy sweep in front of square

15.3

Hogg to Pietersen, 1 run, another sweep, finds the gap this time and they get the single

15.4

Hogg to Bell, no run, right up there, straight, and there's a loud, but solo, shout from the bowler as the batsman defends

15.5

Hogg to Bell, 1 run, driven out to mid-off this time, but straight to the man there

15.6

Hogg to Pietersen, 1 run, up there and there's a sweep in front of square. They think about coming back for two and decide against it

And that's drinks. "Aliens have taken over Ian Bell's body!" reports Simon from New Zealand. "Attacking, free-scoring aliens!"

End of over 16 (3 runs) England 77/2 (RR: 4.81)

    • KP Pietersen 25 (28b 3x4 1x6)
    • IR Bell 35 (51b 5x4)
    • GB Hogg 1-0-3-0
    • MJ Clarke 3-0-18-0
16.1

Clarke to Pietersen, 1 run, stepped down and swept that one from outside off round in front of square, really using the angles well

16.2

Clarke to Bell, 1 run, quicker ball, but the batsman is up to the task, working it away to point

16.3

Clarke to Pietersen, no run, width on that one, but Pietersen doesn't make the most, slamming it into the ground on the off side, not timing it at all

16.4

Clarke to Pietersen, FOUR, got hold of it this time with a well-struck pull and Mr Hussey on the boundary can't cut it off despite his Superman-like dive

16.5

Clarke to Pietersen, 2 runs, swept round really fine and there's an immediate call for two, the batsmen getting back comfortably

16.6

Clarke to Pietersen, 1 run, sweep shot, just for the single this time - it's easily picked up

End of over 17 (9 runs) England 86/2 (RR: 5.05)

    • KP Pietersen 33 (33b 4x4 1x6)
    • IR Bell 36 (52b 5x4)
    • MJ Clarke 4-0-27-0
    • GB Hogg 1-0-3-0
17.1

Hogg to Pietersen, no run, right up there, tidy delivery and that's worked to short midwicket

17.2

Hogg to Pietersen, no run, bit of loop on that one, not connected with properly, Pietersen struggling to get over it as much as anything, and that's driven back forward

17.3

Hogg to Pietersen, 2 runs, swept past Tait

17.4

Hogg to Pietersen, 1 run, on one knee but doesn't get properly engaged, that one just dribbling out to square

17.5

Hogg to Bell, 1 run, full toss, but again it's at an awkward height; still, he manages to driven it out to long-on

17.6

Hogg to Pietersen, 1 run, worked away off the toes to midwicket

Change in bowling now, Symonds into the attack to bowl his medium pacers.

End of over 18 (5 runs) England 91/2 (RR: 5.05)

    • KP Pietersen 37 (38b 4x4 1x6)
    • IR Bell 37 (53b 5x4)
    • GB Hogg 2-0-8-0
    • MJ Clarke 4-0-27-0
18.1

Symonds to Pietersen, 1 run, straight and that's driven out to long-on

18.2

Symonds to Bell, no run, on the money, pitching on off, and Bell can only defend that one on his back foot

18.3

Symonds to Bell, 1 run, strays on to leg and there's a quick single, Ponting have a shy at the stumps as Bell just drops that one into the short midwicket region; good tip-and-run fare

18.4

Symonds to Pietersen, 2 runs, cheeky sweep, on one knee and sending it aerial, but safe, and taking on Hogg's arm with the second; the batsmen win

18.5

Symonds to Pietersen, no run, Pietersen doesn't get hold of that one which comes in at him on the off, fuller than he was expecting, and he defends

18.6

Symonds to Pietersen, FOUR, this time Pietersen backed away showing all three sticks even before the ball had been bowled, and he smashes that one through the gap between mid-off and cover and it fair races away

End of over 19 (8 runs) England 99/2 (RR: 5.21)

    • KP Pietersen 44 (42b 5x4 1x6)
    • IR Bell 38 (55b 5x4)
    • A Symonds 1-0-8-0
    • GB Hogg 2-0-8-0
19.1

Hogg to Bell, 1 run, straight and that's paddled away square to bring up England's 100 in the 20th over

England's second fifty came up in just 35 balls.

19.2

Hogg to Pietersen, no run, a play and a miss this time, the ball pitching outside off and just going straight on, nearly taking the edge

19.3

Hogg to Pietersen, 1 run, comes forward to drive that straight, but gets a leading edge which goes in the gap in front of mid-off - a desperate cry of "Catch it" goes unanswered

19.4

Hogg to Bell, no run, driven to mid-on this time

19.5

Hogg to Bell, no run, worked into the covers this time

19.6

Hogg to Bell, no run, comes down the track, is forced to defend, and simultaneous "Aaaw"s ring out - I think the Aussies like that one, mate

And now, like an excitable excited person, it's Willo again

End of over 20 (2 runs) England 101/2 (RR: 5.05)

    • IR Bell 39 (59b 5x4)
    • KP Pietersen 45 (44b 5x4 1x6)
    • GB Hogg 3-0-10-0
    • A Symonds 1-0-8-0

Cheers Jen. Hello all. Well done everyone

20.1

Symonds to Pietersen, 1 run, drifting down leg and worked further to leg

20.2

Symonds to Bell, no run, pushed back to Symonds and his massive hair

20.3

Symonds to Bell, 2 runs, too short, pulled by Bell but Hodge does well out on the deep square leg boundary, saving four

20.4

Symonds to Bell, 2 runs, delicately clipped through midwicket, aerially, for two

20.5

Symonds to Bell, no run, too straight from Symonds but Bell can't pierce the gap at cover, just nudging it off his hip

20.6

Symonds to Bell, 1 run, very neatly defended on the back foot, timing it well enough to earn him a single

End of over 21 (6 runs) England 107/2 (RR: 5.09)

    • IR Bell 44 (64b 5x4)
    • KP Pietersen 46 (45b 5x4 1x6)
    • A Symonds 2-0-14-0
    • GB Hogg 3-0-10-0
21.1

Hogg to Bell, 1 run, the wrong line from Hogg, outside his leg stump and Bell just turns it to leg

21.2

Hogg to Pietersen, 1 run, again wide of the leg stump, Pietersen sweeps - almost too full to be sweeping, but he gets it on the full and turns it behind square

21.3

Hogg to Bell, 1 run, quietly turned on the front foot through midwicket

21.4

Hogg to Pietersen, 1 run, once again, an Ashley-Giles-esque line on leg stump and it's clipped for a single to leg

Mid-on comes up to save the single. Interesting move

21.5

Hogg to Bell, 3 runs, lovely shot, back-cutting with deftness, just using the pace of the ball to guide the ball down to third man

21.6

Hogg to Pietersen, 1 run, milked to cover for another single

End of over 22 (8 runs) England 115/2 (RR: 5.22)

    • KP Pietersen 49 (48b 5x4 1x6)
    • IR Bell 49 (67b 5x4)
    • GB Hogg 4-0-18-0
    • A Symonds 2-0-14-0

Both closing in on their fifties, albeit with rather contrasting strike rates

22.1

Symonds to Pietersen, 1 run, drifts this onto his leg stump who turns it past square leg for his fifty

There's his fourth fifty against Australia from 49 balls. His sixth fifty in his last eight one-dayers

22.2

Symonds to Bell, no run, pushed back to Symonds. To his right

22.3

Symonds to Bell, 1 run, short of a length, Bell turns it off his hip and there's his fifty - his tenth in ODIs

His third against Australia and 10th in one-dayers

22.4

Symonds to Pietersen, 1 run, dropped! Pietersen has been dropped, by Ponting at mid-on - but it was a terrific effort. A blinding attempt, diving to his right but he just couldn't hold on. It was a slower ball which came out as a full toss, Pietersen tried to whip it over midwicket but got a slight leading edge to Ponting at mid-on. What an effort. Hopefully we'll have a photo soon to show you

Ponting is furious with himself

22.5

Symonds to Bell, 1 run, pushed back to Symonds

22.6

Symonds to Pietersen, 1 run, pushed out into the covers

Has Ponting just dropped the World Cup? Honk honk.

End of over 23 (5 runs) England 120/2 (RR: 5.21)

    • KP Pietersen 52 (51b 5x4 1x6)
    • IR Bell 51 (70b 5x4)
    • A Symonds 3-0-19-0
    • GB Hogg 4-0-18-0
23.1

Hogg to Pietersen, 1 run, Pietersen's desperate to throw it away here. Too straight to be sweeping, and he just gets it over Gilchrist's head

23.2

Hogg to Bell, no run, Gilchrist is "loving this" from George. Bell isn't, and he can't get a single to leg

23.3

Hogg to Bell, 1 run, but he can this time, timing it nicely off the back foot

23.4

Hogg to Pietersen, 2 runs, just short of a length, paddled through midwicket - really well placed indeed and there's the 100 partnership

23.5

Hogg to Pietersen, 2 runs, cracked through the covers, like only Pietersen seems able to do - a flourishing, expansive drive but the sweeper out there cuts off four

23.6

Hogg to Pietersen, no run, better line from Hogg this time, just on leg-and-middle and it's blocked out

I think that should've been "middle-and-leg," but essentially they're the same thing

End of over 24 (6 runs) England 126/2 (RR: 5.25)

    • KP Pietersen 57 (55b 5x4 1x6)
    • IR Bell 52 (72b 5x4)
    • GB Hogg 5-0-24-0
    • A Symonds 3-0-19-0

Stuart Broad's bringing out some drinks. Stuart Broad's finished bringing out the drinks

24.1

Symonds to Bell, FOUR, ooh that's a terrific stroke from Bell - from a poor ball from Symonds, too short, drifting down leg and Bell works it down past short fine leg. Class

24.2

Symonds to Bell, FOUR, shot! Too short from Symonds and again down the leg side, Bell flicks this time - over the same fine-leg region for four. Top class

24.3

Symonds to Bell, 1 run, once again it's turned down to fine leg but just for a single this time

24.4

Symonds to Pietersen, 1 run, Pietersen lunges forward with that huge, erm, lunge and pumps it to mid-on

24.5

Symonds to Bell, 1 run, a pull, crashed over midwicket. Not fully in control of it I don't think, nor timing it sufficiently

24.6

Symonds to Pietersen, 1 run, full toss which is pumped to Hayden at mid-off, who misfields

Australia, well, they're not quite looking ragged out there. But they're not at their clinical best and are leaking runs at the halfway point. Can England capitalise?

End of over 25 (12 runs) England 138/2 (RR: 5.52)

    • KP Pietersen 59 (57b 5x4 1x6)
    • IR Bell 62 (76b 7x4)
    • A Symonds 4-0-31-0
    • GB Hogg 5-0-24-0

Hogg continues. His tongue continues to slaver

25.1

Hogg to Pietersen, 1 run, wide of the leg stump, Pietersen chumps it to midwicket

25.2

Hogg to Bell, 1 run, and again Bell just nudges it to leg

I'm running out of ways to describe a leg-side nudge or nurdle or push or clip...

25.3

Hogg to Pietersen, 4 byes, close! Very, very close. A quicker ball, outside off, Pietersen tries to sweep it on the full and it just passes his off stump, evades his bottom edge, evades Gilchrist and Hogg's tongue is flapping around uncontrollably

25.4

Hogg to Pietersen, 1 run, nudged to square leg for a single

25.5

Hogg to Bell, 1 run, ah, Bell grabs a reverse-sweep from his locker

25.6

Hogg to Pietersen, no run, well bowled! Full, fast, straight and defended on the front foot

End of over 26 (8 runs) England 146/2 (RR: 5.61)

    • KP Pietersen 61 (61b 5x4 1x6)
    • IR Bell 64 (78b 7x4)
    • GB Hogg 6-0-28-0
    • A Symonds 4-0-31-0

Here's Shaun Tait

26.1

Tait to Bell, no run, clunked off the back foot but he can't time it, working it to leg for a zero

26.2

Tait to Bell, no run, ooh driven, and driven hard, but - well, no, it wasn't timed at all. I'm speaking rubbish

26.3

Tait to Bell, 1 run, ooh close! Very, very close to chopping on there. He went to drive on the up but got a thick inside edge

26.4

Tait to Pietersen, 1 run, that was quick - and there's the first sign of reverse swing from Tait, that one just bending into the batsman who mis-defends

26.5

Tait to Bell, FOUR, my word, that was severely quick from Tait, rising up onto Bell's neck - and Bell, cool as a frozen cucumber from Alaska, fends it off deliberately. We think. He did appear to have it under control - as much as any "fend" can be. At least he had the foresight to angle it down to third man

Duncan Fletcher nearly smiled on the balcony

26.6

Tait to Bell, 2 runs, and it's punched, firmly, through midwicket

End of over 27 (8 runs) England 154/2 (RR: 5.70)

    • IR Bell 71 (83b 8x4)
    • KP Pietersen 62 (62b 5x4 1x6)
    • SW Tait 5-0-25-2
    • GB Hogg 6-0-28-0

Here's Glenn McGrath back into the attack

27.1

McGrath to Pietersen, no run, great start, right on off stump and it's defended

Thanks to ICC for allowing musical instruments in," says Ahmed Siddiqui. "I hope they can allow a non-playing captain in the next England game, so Vaughan can still get in the team."

Now then Pietersen. Time to charge McGrath?

27.2

McGrath to Pietersen, 1 run, punched to mid-off on the up, and Hodge is quick to throw down the stumps, or at least attempt to, but the throw was wide. Pietersen is so quick between the stumps

27.3

McGrath to Bell, 2 runs, ah, deliciously, deftly late-cut down to third man

Such a good stroke. Back cuts and late cuts are too few and far between these days

27.4

McGrath to Bell, no run, too short, but Bell can't get a run here, just pushing it to cover

27.5

McGrath to Bell, no run, tries to drop this out into the covers but can't get enough bat on it

27.6

McGrath to Bell, FOUR, that is some shot! My word, punching McGrath off the back foot over cover. Fabulous shot

Mark Nicholas is very close to rupturing a vital organ. "That will live in the memory of everyone who saw it." Calm down Nicho! Can't beat him for superlatives

End of over 28 (7 runs) England 161/2 (RR: 5.75)

    • IR Bell 77 (87b 9x4)
    • KP Pietersen 63 (64b 5x4 1x6)
    • GD McGrath 4-0-32-0
    • SW Tait 5-0-25-2
28.1

Tait to Pietersen, no run, pulled on the up. You might think I've just made up that stroke, but in fact Pietersen plays it all the time. It's like a front footed pull, but while on the charge

28.2

Tait to Pietersen, no run, dropped! Pietersen skies it over the bowler's head; Hayden jogs to his right from mid-on and, somehow, shelled it. Hogg was coming in from mid-off in the opposite direction but, really, that was a bizarre drop. Careless

28.3

Tait to Pietersen, no run, ooh a slower ball which Pietersen reads and defends

28.4

Tait to Pietersen, no run, wild and wooly, like a mountain sheep, down the leg side

Surprised that wasn't called a wide

28.5

Tait to Pietersen, 2 no balls, Tait is absolutely tearing in here. That was up to 94mpg (151kph) but the direction was all wrong, down the leg side and actually Gilchrist does brilliantly to prevent four

Gilchrist has been solid today. Really solid

28.5

Tait to Bell, no run, cracked to Hayden at mid-off who receives predictable ironic jeering from the crowd

28.6

Tait to Bell, no run, quick and nasty again. Tait is absolutely spitting nails out there and Bell defends

End of over 29 (2 runs) England 163/2 (RR: 5.62)

    • IR Bell 77 (89b 9x4)
    • KP Pietersen 63 (69b 5x4 1x6)
    • SW Tait 6-0-27-2
    • GD McGrath 4-0-32-0

Well what an over. Pietersen gifted an easy catch and Hayden, inexplicably, just never looked like catching it. He did well to even get a fingertip to it. Far, far too casual and wastefully sloppy. Time for Pietersen to really make it count no

29.1

McGrath to Pietersen, no run, touch of reverse swing from McGrath, angling into Pietersen who tries to drive, and does drive, but can't time it

29.2

McGrath to Pietersen, 1 run, too short and it's hammered through midwicket. No! It smacks into Rudi, the square-leg umpire who does a rather impressive star jump but the ball thuds into his left knee. Rudi doesn't flinch

29.3

McGrath to Bell, OUT, oh there we go, Bell departs - McGrath perhaps held it back a touch, Bell trying to drive it over cover but his head fell back and the ball spooned to Hussey at extra cover

IR Bell c Hussey b McGrath 77 (126m 90b 9x4 0x6) SR: 85.55

I suppose every wicket is a "much needed" breakthrough for a bowling side, but that has come at a really vital time for Australia who were just looking as though the wheels were coming off. Trust McGrath to break the partnership. So, here's Collingwood - and let's hope the scoring rate doesn't plummet, for all concerned

29.4

McGrath to Collingwood, no run, a misdirected bouncer wide of Collingwood's off stump who evades it with ease

29.5

McGrath to Collingwood, no run, too straight, prodded to leg but straight to mid-on

A huge sign in the crowd reads "Goes Straya".

29.6

McGrath to Collingwood, 2 runs, well played! Attempted yorker which is dug out by Collingwood and his big spade, timing it surprisingly well to deep square leg

Talking of square legs, here's Cricinfo's lady geek in residence, Jenny Thompson. Hilarity. Hello again. Well, this has been a very interesting first 30 overs indeed. England have an excellent platform and these two are both in-form, but if Australia can get another quick wicket or so...

End of over 30 (3 runs) England 166/3 (RR: 5.53)

    • PD Collingwood 2 (3b)
    • KP Pietersen 64 (71b 5x4 1x6)
    • GD McGrath 5-0-35-1
    • SW Tait 6-0-27-2
30.1

Tait to Pietersen, 1 run, tucked off the legs in front of square leg

30.2

Tait to Collingwood, no run, yorker out of the top drawer, Collingwood just gets bat on it and does well not to fall over in the process

30.3

Tait to Collingwood, OUT, lovely delivery, top class that one: Collingwood looking for the reverse swing and playing away from his body on his back foot. There's just a thin edge - but one without doubt - and Gilchrist clings on

PD Collingwood c †Gilchrist b Tait 2 (3m 5b 0x4 0x6) SR: 40.00

These two quick strikes have changed the complexion of England's innings now. Pietersen will, of course, be England's key man here - for Australia, Tait proving their key figure. He's hostile, he's quick, he's dangerous. Flintoff to the crease now

30.4

Tait to Flintoff, 1 run, tries the inswinging yorker, just gets his radar wrong, and that's worked to leg, Flintoff off the mark immediately

30.5

Tait to Pietersen, no run, outside off and that's just defended down off the back foot

30.6

Tait to Pietersen, no run, excellent ball rounds off a very tidy over, that one shooting through past the chest after nipping back in, just a smidgen, off the seam and on to Gilchrist

As Mark Ramprakash would say - I'm not a betting man, but if I was, it's anyone's game at the moment.

Hogg's back into the attack now. Let's see what George can do. The pitch, by the way, is an excellent one

End of over 31 (2 runs) England 168/4 (RR: 5.41)

    • KP Pietersen 65 (74b 5x4 1x6)
    • A Flintoff 1 (1b)
    • SW Tait 7-0-29-3
    • GD McGrath 5-0-35-1
31.1

Hogg to Flintoff, no run, pops that one into space on the leg-side, the ball just catching his bat

31.2

Hogg to Flintoff, no run, big loop and that one's worked in front of square

31.3

Hogg to Flintoff, 1 run, turned away off his legs to square

31.4

Hogg to Pietersen, no run, gets over the ball and looks to drive it through long-on, but has to check the shot a touch, and drives it back to the bowler

31.5

Hogg to Pietersen, no run, good stuff again from Hogg, Pietersen only finding room to play that to square

31.6

Hogg to Pietersen, no run, right up there, a slow, tricksy yorker, and Pietersen does well to shuffle, and reshuffle, his feet to find room to defend

And there's some more drinks about to be drunk.

Aussies are favourites down the bookies still, at 1/2; England are bringing up the rear at 6/4.

End of over 32 (1 run) England 169/4 (RR: 5.28)

    • KP Pietersen 65 (77b 5x4 1x6)
    • A Flintoff 2 (4b)
    • GB Hogg 7-0-29-0
    • SW Tait 7-0-29-3
32.1

Tait to Flintoff, no run, pushed right up there, yorker, and that's driven to mid-on

32.2

Tait to Flintoff, no run, banged down outside off, perhaps a touch short, but that's just worked off the back foot easily enough to the man at cover

32.3

Tait to Flintoff, 1 wide, strays that one down leg, Tait immediately turns to look at Rudi Koertzen, expecting a wide... the umpire thinks about it, and then makes the sign

"Come on Austray-a-a" shouts Hayden, clapping his hands at the same time

32.3

Tait to Flintoff, no run, defended this time

"Excellent pitch? What does that mean?" asks Andrew Boyle. It means a good batting track

32.4

Tait to Flintoff, no run, up there on a good length, and that's defended forward

32.5

Tait to Flintoff, no run, driven to mid-on this time

32.6

Tait to Flintoff, 1 run, worked off his legs to deep square leg and Flintoff steals the strike

Tidy enough over from Tait, always looking threatening

End of over 33 (2 runs) England 171/4 (RR: 5.18)

    • A Flintoff 3 (10b)
    • KP Pietersen 65 (77b 5x4 1x6)
    • SW Tait 8-0-31-3
    • GB Hogg 7-0-29-0
33.1

Hogg to Flintoff, no run, does well to get the bat on it and work to leg

33.2

Hogg to Flintoff, no run, pushes that one across the righthander, who drives into the covers

33.3

Hogg to Flintoff, 1 run, swept firmly down to Bracken behind square

33.4

Hogg to Pietersen, 2 leg byes, attempted sweep shot, signalled as leg byes, and Pietersen plays under the ball which scoots on down to third man

33.5

Hogg to Pietersen, no run, huge shouts for lbw, it pitched in line, but may have just gone on to clip off - there was enough doubt, though, and Pietersen had got a big stride in

33.6

Hogg to Pietersen, 1 run, swept behind square this time

Bracken and his Alice band are back into the attack. He's just warming up with a few balls to mid-off

End of over 34 (4 runs) England 175/4 (RR: 5.14)

    • KP Pietersen 66 (80b 5x4 1x6)
    • A Flintoff 4 (13b)
    • GB Hogg 8-0-31-0
    • SW Tait 8-0-31-3
34.1

Bracken to Pietersen, 2 runs, over the wicket, that's worked out to deep midwicket, where there's some tidy one-two fielding and the ball's thrown back pretty quickly

34.2

Bracken to Pietersen, 1 run, on leg, and that's shuffled into the midwicket region off the front foot

34.3

Bracken to Flintoff, no run, outside off, moves off the seam away from the batsman a fraction; he waits and steers that down to gully, Clarke with some excellent work to his left to cut the ball off

34.4

Bracken to Flintoff, no run, poked down off the back foot into the covers this time

34.5

Bracken to Flintoff, no run, straight drive, so straight, alas, that that crashes into the stumps at the other end

A fair breeze getting up there, definite kite-flying potential, and it's ruffling Bracken's hair a treat

34.6

Bracken to Flintoff, no run, down the off-side channel and that's cut off the back foot straight to point

The paddling pool's been taken over by a school of penguins... If that's the collective noun...

End of over 35 (3 runs) England 178/4 (RR: 5.08)

    • A Flintoff 4 (17b)
    • KP Pietersen 69 (82b 5x4 1x6)
    • NW Bracken 6-1-16-0
    • GB Hogg 8-0-31-0
35.1

Hogg to Pietersen, 1 run, swept down on one knee and that's out to square

35.2

Hogg to Flintoff, no run, oh, excellent delivery, moving off the seam away from the righthander and that wasn't picked whatsoever

Flintoff's woes against spin continue

35.3

Hogg to Flintoff, OUT, a little touch of air and the ball tempts him outside his crease. It deviates past his outside edge, turning a touch and Gilchrist completes the move with some sharp glovework and Flintoff's on his way

A Flintoff st †Gilchrist b Hogg 4 (20m 19b 0x4 0x6) SR: 21.05

A big wicket for Australia, although while Pietersen is in he can still boost England's total. And now comes England's nearly hero from the other night, Ravi Bopara. He'll have to be at his up-tempo best to help set a competitive total - on this track they need somewhere up near 280

35.4

Hogg to Bopara, 1 run, tickled off his hips behind square

35.5

Hogg to Pietersen, no run, "Catch" they cry, but that lands safe

35.6

Hogg to Pietersen, 1 run, driven out to long-off and that completes an excellent over by Hogg

End of over 36 (3 runs) England 181/5 (RR: 5.02)

    • KP Pietersen 71 (85b 5x4 1x6)
    • RS Bopara 1 (1b)
    • GB Hogg 9-0-34-1
    • NW Bracken 6-1-16-0
36.1

Bracken to Pietersen, no run, on leg and that's driven to the man in on the one on the leg-side

36.2

Bracken to Pietersen, 1 run, across the righthander, with enough width for that to be driven to cover

36.3

Bracken to Bopara, 1 run, on middle-and-leg, takes the pace off the ball, the batsman puts the pace back on with a swish to leg

36.4

Bracken to Pietersen, 1 run, more width on the off side, and that's played to the sweeper out on the cover boundary

36.5

Bracken to Bopara, FOUR, tried to drive it through the covers, but pressed down into the ground off the edge, a touch of luck as that rolls away to third man and he knows it, giving a little grin

36.6

Bracken to Bopara, no run, defended this time

The ball's just been changed, earlier than some of late

End of over 37 (7 runs) England 188/5 (RR: 5.08)

    • RS Bopara 6 (4b 1x4)
    • KP Pietersen 73 (88b 5x4 1x6)
    • NW Bracken 7-1-23-0
    • GB Hogg 9-0-34-1
37.1

Hogg to Pietersen, 2 wides, goes for the sweep, misses

37.1

Hogg to Bopara, no run, turns that one back in from just outside off and Bopara's temporarily bamboozled

37.2

Hogg to Bopara, no run, on off, a hint of turn again, and Bopara deals with it with a defensive

37.3

Hogg to Bopara, no run, nearly a carbon copy of the Flintoff dismissal, the wrong'un, turning away from the batsman... but Bopara stayed in his crease

37.4

Hogg to Bopara, no run, gets tempted to play at that one away from his body; luckily for him he missed

37.5

Hogg to Bopara, no run, defended this time

37.6

Hogg to Bopara, no run, and yet more defence to finish what's been another probing over

So many many questions, so few answers - Hogg has England in all kinds of bother right now

End of over 38 (2 runs) England 190/5 (RR: 5.00)

    • RS Bopara 6 (10b 1x4)
    • KP Pietersen 73 (88b 5x4 1x6)
    • GB Hogg 10-0-36-1
    • NW Bracken 7-1-23-0
38.1

Bracken to Pietersen, 1 run, driven to long-off

38.2

Bracken to Bopara, no run, on middle-and-leg and that's swept to the man at midwicket

38.3

Bracken to Bopara, no run, slower ball, and there's a half shout, that one pitching on leg

38.4

Bracken to Bopara, no run, on middle, turning a touch away from the righthander, who pokes it into the off side

38.5

Bracken to Bopara, 1 run, eased out to long-off this time

38.6

Bracken to Pietersen, no run, on leg, and that's flamingo whipped off the front leg, just to the man, though, at midwicket

Australia have really put the brakes on England here. Symonds now

End of over 39 (2 runs) England 192/5 (RR: 4.92)

    • KP Pietersen 74 (90b 5x4 1x6)
    • RS Bopara 7 (14b 1x4)
    • NW Bracken 8-1-25-0
    • GB Hogg 10-0-36-1
39.1

Symonds to Bopara, no run, driven off the toes, without much power, to the man in the ring on leg

39.2

Symonds to Bopara, no run, flaps the bat onto that one, wristing it to the man at leg

39.3

Symonds to Bopara, no run, another dot as that one can only be manoeuvred to the leg

"I tried wearing an alice band like Nathan Bracken," laments Haroon from Bristol University, "but I looked like a loser." Finally some honesty.

39.4

Symonds to Bopara, 2 runs, more wristy stuff, this time finding the gap through the 45

39.5

Symonds to Bopara, 1 run, driven to long-on

39.6

Symonds to Pietersen, 1 run, Pietersen backs away, exposing all three stumps, before the ball's even delivered and, as he did the last time he backed away, he drives on the front foot to long-off

Now is the ever-wonderful Willo

End of over 40 (4 runs) England 196/5 (RR: 4.90)

    • KP Pietersen 75 (91b 5x4 1x6)
    • RS Bopara 10 (19b 1x4)
    • A Symonds 5-0-35-0
    • NW Bracken 8-1-25-0

Hello chaps. Glenn McGrath is into the attack

40.1

McGrath to Pietersen, no run, very full, very wide, Pietersen can only clump it back to him

40.2

McGrath to Pietersen, 2 runs, hammered down the ground. Actually, it was more of a wooden mallet rather than a hammer - and long-on collected

40.3

McGrath to Pietersen, 1 run, crashed through extra cover, to deep extra

Billy reckons it's a kit of penguins. We're not so sure. Where's Blowers when you need him? Pigeons, penguins, it's all the same

40.4

McGrath to Bopara, no run, "great bowling, Pig" cries Gilchrist as McGrath lands this on middle and Bopara watchfully defends

40.5

McGrath to Bopara, no run, and this angles into Bopara who is back and across, defending

England need to get a hurry on here, and get Pietersen back on strike

40.6

McGrath to Bopara, no run, full and straight, a touch of reverse swing into Bopara who again can only punch it back to McGrath

Well at least Pietersen will be on strike

End of over 41 (3 runs) England 199/5 (RR: 4.85)

    • RS Bopara 10 (22b 1x4)
    • KP Pietersen 78 (94b 5x4 1x6)
    • GD McGrath 6-0-38-1
    • A Symonds 5-0-35-0

Here's Symonds into the attack

41.1

Symonds to Pietersen, no run, and it's drifting down leg, Pietersen attempts to sweep but he forgot his chimney brush

41.2

Symonds to Pietersen, 2 runs, ooh lovely timing there, really hammered it on the full out to deep extra cover. But straight to the man in the sandpit

41.3

Symonds to Pietersen, 1 run, gives himself a touch of room outside leg before guiding it into cover, just using the pace of the ball

41.4

Symonds to Bopara, no run, full and straight and driven back to Symonds

41.5

Symonds to Bopara, 1 run, just a little wider and it's punched wider still of the bowler

One of Symonds's dreadlocks is pointing vertically. He looks rather daft.

41.6

Symonds to Pietersen, 1 run, spooned aerially, but meekly, just short of mid-on

End of over 42 (5 runs) England 204/5 (RR: 4.85)

    • KP Pietersen 82 (98b 5x4 1x6)
    • RS Bopara 11 (24b 1x4)
    • A Symonds 6-0-40-0
    • GD McGrath 6-0-38-1

Shaun Tait is back into the attack. Just two overs left for him

42.1

Tait to Pietersen, no run, full, just a hint of reverse but it was too wide of the off stump. Pietersen lines up a colossal drive, but can only time it to mid-off

42.2

Tait to Pietersen, 1 run, straighter this time, allowing Pietersen to work it to leg

42.3

Tait to Bopara, no run, a big, raucous appeal from Tait; Bopara went some way across his stumps, was rapped on the pads but it was just sliding down leg

Super appeal there, really gave it his all

42.4

Tait to Bopara, 1 leg bye, and again, that's got to be out! No, again Rudi turns it down - again a magnificently vehement appeal from the bowler but, again, it's just sliding down leg

Here he comes again. Third time lucky against Pietersen?

42.5

Tait to Pietersen, 1 run, oh blimey, a shot of typical madness from Pietersen. Short of a length from Tait and Pietersen tries to hit it into the ocean, but it skies over mid-on rather meekly

42.6

Tait to Bopara, no run, well bowled indeed, an inswinging yorker which is dug out

Tait has really bowled with great maturity today, great disciplined lines and rarely straying from the 90mph mark. A proper strike bowler

End of over 43 (3 runs) England 207/5 (RR: 4.81)

    • RS Bopara 11 (27b 1x4)
    • KP Pietersen 84 (101b 5x4 1x6)
    • SW Tait 9-0-33-3
    • A Symonds 6-0-40-0

McGrath it is. Third man and fine leg are both up inside the circle. Yorkers it will be, then...

Finally a useful Miller. Robert Miller to be exact: "At the 4th International Penguin Conference in Chile in September 2000, penguin researchers agreed to refer to a group on the land as a "waddle" of penguins in the water as a "raft" of penguins"

43.1

McGrath to Pietersen, 1 run, an it is an attempted yorker, but ends up a full bunger which is bunged back to the bowler, who parries it to mid-on allowing them to scamper a single

43.2

McGrath to Bopara, 1 run, Bopara digs this out to Symonds at mid-on and they set off for a quick single but, for once, Symonds can't field cleanly

43.3

McGrath to Pietersen, FOUR, short, wide, cut past point for four. That's Pietersen's strength, capitalising on the bad balls - and that's his first four in 61 deliveries

43.4

McGrath to Pietersen, 1 run, crashed to long off for a single

43.5

McGrath to Bopara, 1 run, grief, I thought he had bowled him there. The inside-edge clunky noise rather sounded like the stumps being shattered. As it was...it bobbled out to leg

43.6

McGrath to Pietersen, no run, full and straight and blocked out

End of over 44 (8 runs) England 215/5 (RR: 4.88)

    • KP Pietersen 90 (105b 6x4 1x6)
    • RS Bopara 13 (29b 1x4)
    • GD McGrath 7-0-46-1
    • SW Tait 9-0-33-3
44.1

Tait to Bopara, FOUR, lovely shot from Bopara, a check-drive through cover - perfectly placed. Hayden runs in the sandpit and doesn't dive, such is the danger of the outfield. Thus; four

44.2

Tait to Bopara, 1 run, drifting down leg and it bobbles off his pads

44.3

Tait to Pietersen, no run, Pietersen lines up a rocketing drive but it bobbles pathetically back to the bowler

KP hasn't got a hundred for 36 matches. Oh dear. That's done him

44.4

Tait to Pietersen, 1 run, turned off his hip

44.5

Tait to Bopara, 1 run, short of a length, Bopara rocks back and, with wristy wrists, wrists it through midwicket

44.6

Tait to Pietersen, 1 run, good running, good batting - Pietersen just dropped it to leg and scampering through for a single. He had to get his skates on, mind - but he did, and they were good skates

End of over 45 (8 runs) England 223/5 (RR: 4.95)

    • KP Pietersen 92 (108b 6x4 1x6)
    • RS Bopara 19 (32b 2x4)
    • SW Tait 10-0-41-3
    • GD McGrath 7-0-46-1

Right, enough of this prodding malarkey. Five overs. Let's have some savagery

45.1

McGrath to Pietersen, 1 run, ooh it's powered back to the old man McGrath who bends down, without doing his back in, and gets half a hand to prevent four

45.2

McGrath to Bopara, 1 wide, that was rather close to plucking out his leg stump there, and Gilchrist missed a potential stumping chance. Rather unfairly called a wide, too

45.2

McGrath to Bopara, 1 run, cracked on the front foot with a great deal of flourish, but he finds the sweeper on the rope

Not that we actually have "ropes" any longer. Just a plastic thing with advertising on. Pah.

45.3

McGrath to Pietersen, 1 run, timed back to McGrath who again fields well in his follow through

Pietersen looks cream-crackered out there, he really does

45.4

McGrath to Bopara, 1 run, too short to be driving, but he does drive and it's worked to leg

45.5

McGrath to Pietersen, 1 run, short, pulled around the corner

50 from 62 between these two. Not the most electric of partnerships - but another good contribution from Bopara

45.6

McGrath to Bopara, no run, ooh and Bopara goes for it, pulling it off the front foot just short of midwicket

End of over 46 (6 runs) England 229/5 (RR: 4.97)

    • RS Bopara 21 (35b 2x4)
    • KP Pietersen 95 (111b 6x4 1x6)
    • GD McGrath 8-0-52-1
    • SW Tait 10-0-41-3

Bracken from over the wicket

Pietersen looks like he might be playing for his hundred, which isn't to do him a disservice. Get the hundred and then go crazy. Bopara might go crazy beforehand, however.

46.1

Bracken to Pietersen, 1 run, a full bunger which takes the batsman by surprise, and it's smacked without power back past him to mid-on

46.2

Bracken to Bopara, OUT, what a shot, but he's found Hussey at deep midwicket. It was an extraordinary flick, timing it to Hussey on the boundary who took an easy catch

RS Bopara c Hussey b Bracken 21 (43m 36b 2x4 0x6) SR: 58.33

Well it's all slipping away in rather predictable fashion for England here. They look like they're stuck in the mud again

Batsmen crossed, so Pietersen's back on strike

46.3

Bracken to Pietersen, no run, lovely ball, full and straight and KP can only hit it back to Bracken

46.4

Bracken to Pietersen, no run, crashed back to the bowler again who gets a finger on it, parrying it onto the stumps. But Nixon, at the non-striker's end, is safe

46.5

Bracken to Pietersen, 2 runs, another full toss. They just can't get him away and it's sponged to deep extra

46.6

Bracken to Pietersen, 1 run, full, if a little too full, allowing Pietersen to ping it down to long-on for a cheeky cockney single, thus retaining the strike

End of over 47 (4 runs) England 233/6 (RR: 4.95)

    • KP Pietersen 99 (116b 6x4 1x6)
    • PA Nixon 0 (0b)
    • NW Bracken 9-1-29-1
    • GD McGrath 8-0-52-1

So then. Pietersen on 99. Can he open his shoulders, in a non-surgical sense, once he reaches three figures?

47.1

McGrath to Pietersen, 1 run, and there's his hundred. Another full toss bunged down the ground. Pietersen skips through for a single, and jumps in delight - pumping his fist and roaring his pleasure.

That's his slowest one-day hundred. Time to kick on now

Around the wicket to Nixon; Gilchrist up to the stumps

47.2

McGrath to Nixon, no run, and he plays and misses

47.3

McGrath to Nixon, 1 run, ah, good play from Nixon, shuffling around his crease like a man with ants in his jockstrap, putting McGrath off his line before working it to leg

47.4

McGrath to Pietersen, no run, ooh here we go! Pietersen takes a step outside leg, tries to crack McGrath over his head but can only hammer it back to him

McGrath is nearly thrown backwards with the force of the shot

47.5

McGrath to Pietersen, 1 run, brilliant bowling. Full and straight, Pietersen steps a mile outside his leg stump trying to whack him down the ground but can't time it

Gnasher informs us England have added just 70 since the 30th over

Around the wicket to Nixon

47.6

McGrath to Nixon, no run, and again Nixon plays and misses

End of over 48 (3 runs) England 236/6 (RR: 4.91)

    • PA Nixon 1 (3b)
    • KP Pietersen 101 (119b 6x4 1x6)
    • GD McGrath 9-0-55-1
    • NW Bracken 9-1-29-1

My word this is a drab performance from England

48.1

Bracken to Pietersen, 1 run, a full bunger which Pietersen can't make anything of, just clobbering it off the back foot to a wideish long-on

48.2

Bracken to Nixon, 1 run, makes this into a full toss, and works it to long-on for a single

Right then. Pietersen v Bracken

48.3

Bracken to Pietersen, 2 runs, ooh Bracken sends it wide of Pietersen who slaps it - only just reaching it - flobbing it to mid-off

48.4

Bracken to Pietersen, OUT, and he's gone this time, trying to lift Bracken for six but it's hit flat, and straight to Michael Clarke who needs not move a muscle, taking a very simple catch

KP Pietersen c Clarke b Bracken 104 (182m 122b 6x4 1x6) SR: 85.24

Good hundred from Pietersen, but he just couldn't motor in the last 10 overs like he and England needed to. This innings is sinking

48.5

Bracken to Mahmood, no run, ooh close! A play and a miss from Saj Mahmood who is very nearly bowled

48.6

Bracken to Mahmood, OUT, another full toss, well, what a catch! That's a marvellous catch from Hodge, Mahmood slicing it to him at backward point who tumbled to his right and took a fine catch

SI Mahmood c Hodge b Bracken 0 (2m 2b 0x4 0x6) SR: 0.00

That was hamlet from Mahmood, in an innings which has been fairly village to say the least

End of over 49 (4 runs) England 240/8 (RR: 4.89)

    • PA Nixon 2 (4b)
    • NW Bracken 10-1-33-3
    • GD McGrath 9-0-55-1

Around the wicket

49.1

McGrath to Nixon, SIX, much more like it! Nixon just flicked it, getting under the ball and smacking it over long-on. Terrific blow

49.2

McGrath to Nixon, OUT, and he tries to replicate the shot before, smacking a full toss but straight down Hodge's throat at long-on who swallows it with ease

PA Nixon c Hodge b McGrath 8 (14m 6b 0x4 1x6) SR: 133.33

Monty v McGrath

49.3

McGrath to Panesar, no run, and he goes for an almighty heave ho over cover, swings and misses, his bat almost knocking him on his rear in its swishing follow through

49.4

McGrath to Panesar, 1 run, Monty takes a step outside leg but, with a good eye, claps it to long-on

49.5

McGrath to Anderson, OUT, full, swinging into Anderson who completely misreads the line. McGrath roars his appeal and up goes the finger

JM Anderson lbw b McGrath 0 (2m 1b 0x4 0x6) SR: 0.00

1.45pm Welcome back. Here come Gilchrist and Hayden, needing five an over, which should be comfortable on this track. Andrew Miller reckons 247 is a winning total. Let's find out shall we? It'll be James Anderson to take the new ball, a cricket ball, and not the beach ball that's blown onto the pitch. Here we go

And that caps a brilliant performance and comeback from Australia. England were going building nicely with Ian Bell and Kevin Pietersen at the crease, but Hogg's fine spell stifled their momentum before the seamers came back and cut through the middle order. Shaun Tait bowled a magnificent couple of spells; straight, aggressive and never let up in his pace, he was Ponting's Brett Lee today. A terrific effort. Join us in 40 minutes for Australia's response.

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